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1 2 3 







««<»ocof» msouinoN tbt oun 

(ANSI ond ISO TESt CHAKT No. 2) 

ill i.i_ IP^ 



' ■■■■* 



Geors^ Brown 

T>HB G|otl>« 

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There is little reMmblsnce between the Canada 
a{ 1867 and of 1917. In thou fifty yean a vaat 
change has taken place. It is common to explain 
that change by the fact that '.'\ 1867 a new consti- 
tation came into force. That the progress made 
during the half century has been due to the develop- 
ment of natural resources is not acceptable to those 
who love the marvellous, and who would have it 
that it is due to the adoption of p written constitu- 
tion rather than to the labor ox an industrious and. 
energetic yeomanry. That a goad government is. 
conducive to prosperity is not daoied but it has to- 
be kept in mind that the cuauge m 1-^7 wss not 
from a bad to a good form of goven aent. Canada 
had fifty years ago an excellent form tif government,, 
more helpful to industry than that «*'Wh now pre- 
>ails, in so far that taxes were ,<-^ and the 
machinery of government more si* direct. 

The cause of a change was not thi farm of 

government was inferior, and needed m replaced 
by a better, but that the domination h) Quebec had 
reached so exasperating a point that a r 'justment 
of the relations between the two provin< 'ould no 
longer be avoided. Confederation was « j<ted to 
overcame that difiiculty. That was its sp^. ,. nut- 
pose. Has it done so t If it has not, then Conft 
tion, in the special object for which it was de 


hM been a failure. CHmparelhe itate o/ affair* of 
1867 with what exintii today and it.*jll be iieen that 
the attitude of Quebec is more menacing th^n ever. 
Thoae who claim the development of the Northweat 
as a fruit of the union of 1867, aft ignorant of the 
past. The rush westward began year|i before that 
date, and the absorption of the prairie-land was 
inevitable. — 

The tendency of humanity to create gods of its 
own making is rampant among as just now, and to 
men of moderate merit are ascribed far-sightedness 
and disinterested patriotism. Somelhitig of the halo 
which our neighbors have thrown aronnd the found- 
ers of thcir.iepublic is being attemiited with the ■ 
so-called Fathers of Confederation. In- the interest 
of Truth it is proper to investigate and ascertain ' 
what the facts justify. As one who took a deep 
interest in all the events that led to Confederation, 
and having had opportunity to judge of its leader* 
at close range, 1 would give my impressions of them 
and their work. To add to the interest of what I 
would say, I will group my observations round the ' 
career of George Brown. 

When Brown left Scotland for America he was 
a stripling of twenty. He landed in New York in 
1838, and found the atmosphere that then prevailed 
uncongenial. Hatred of Britain colored public 
opinion and the sentiment in favor of negro slavery 
was strong. If the youth had any inclinations to- 
wards republicanism they melted away, and he 
became ardent in his love of British institutions and 
in his hatred of slavery. During the few years he 
■was in New York he became associated with news- 
paper lite, 80 that, when he determined on getting- 
once more under the union jack, it was with a view 

01.0R0E BROWN 

to utart • newapiper in Toronto. He found wanner 
encouragement than he looked for. In 1M43, though 
Toronto wai a small town, ita citizens were so divid- 
ed that any journalist who toolc the side of either 
party could count upon its sup|Kirt. The party that 
was in power claimed to be the only truly loyal 
party, and that upon them depended the saving of 
Canada from annexation. When loyalty means love 
of country and devotion to its highest interests it is 
a noble passion, but loyalty assumed as a party cry, 
to support a claim to rule and to monopolise public 
offices, is a despicable subterfuge. Brown quickly 
took in the situation and saw that the loyalty cry 
was being used by a selfish coterie to the hurt of the 
common people. He was young, abounding <n 
vitality, and of a most enthusiastic temperam'nt. 
"Whatever he undertook he did with all his might. 
A more restless, energetic young man there was not 
to be found in the rising town that was being built 
along the bay. In the slang of our day, he was a 
live wire, and was welcomed by those who were 
engaged in an uphill figiit to overturn a combination 
whp grabbed at whatever would put wtney in their 
pockets. With Brown there was no middle course, 
he was one-sided to the verge of arrogance. Who- 
ever was against him was wrong, and wrong without 
the slighteNt justification and therefore in the news- 
paper he started he denounced opponents with all 
the strength of language at his command. Positive 
in his convictions and unwavering in whatever 
course he chose, he soon had a following, which 
included manv of the more solid-thinking and pros- 
perous people 0* the colony. At first he was the 
exponent of views they had privately formed, grad- 
ually he dictated what views they ought to hold. 


The times favored such a man and such a newspaper. 
Apart from the subject of whether Canada should 
have responsible government or continue to be ruled 
from Downing-«t, questions of Church and State 
agitated the community. In controversies that kept 
up a more than comfortable heat, Brown was active 
and the Globe led tha march for reform. 3ishop 
Strachan, whom the Globe dnbbed Jock Toronto, 
saw in its editor an atheist seeking the overthrow 
of pure religion, and said so for no other reason than 
that Brown was demanding the Anglican body be 
placed on an equality with others denominations, 
-while rival editors were pleased to refer to him as 
-f rebel, kindly intimating the ofBcers of the crown 
-should deal with him. 

It was inevitable such a man should be sent to 
parliament, and on his second trial for a seat he was 
elected. He was in the prime of life, 33 years old, 
and a splendid specimen of manhood. He stood 
■C feet 2 inches, straight ta a pine-tree, broad- 
nhonldered, and rather angular in frame. With 
mobile features, animated in expression, he gave 
the impression of power which was confirmed by a 
sonorous voice. Years before his election he had 
won a reputation as a speaker, not because of his 
speech being eloquent but because it was forcible 
and his language strong. On the platform he had a 
few serious drawbacks, the most noticeable that 
hesitation in utterance to which the Scotch have 
given the name habber, which, until he got excitei', 
hindered the free flow of words, while his gestures 
were ungainly. Even in his most carefully 
prepared speeches there was no play of fancy, no 
flights of imagination, they were compact with facts 
and arguments and he was a veritable Gradgrind 


for bluebooks and statistics. He was often vehement 
but never impassioned, but the commonsense of the 
news he expressed, his earnestness and the force 
with which he expressed himself, never failed to 
command an audience. He was at his best in 
denouncing an opponent or exposing the hollowness 
of the views he had advanced, for Brown was ex- 
tremely ready in argument. His attempts at raillery 
and sarcasm fell flat, for he lacked humor. He was 
morbidly sensitive about the reporting of his 
speeches. On all occasions no matter how trivial or 
how briefly he spoke, the report that was to appear 
in the Globe had to be submitted to him for revision. 
J. K. Edwards, than whom there was not a more 
capable reporter, accompanied him to his meetings, 
and over his M 8. Brown would spend hours, often 
rewriting long sections. To get time for this, his 
speech was held over a day or two after the general 
report of the meeting. The length of his speeches 
told against their effect, for they wearied most 
listeners and appalled the average reader when he 
saw how many columns the report filled. It is not 
in human nature to concentrate attention for any 
length of time, and Brown exceeded the limit. He 
rarely spoke less than an hour, often two hours and 
more. His speech in the Confederation Debates 
would make a small volume. 

His tours over the length and breadth of the 
province brought him into close contact with the 
people and he won hosts of friends. His hearty 
manner and simple tastes made him a welcome guest, 
the more so that the more he learnt of farming the 
more enthusiastic he became in the calling of those 
with whom he stayed overnight. His love of every- 
thing pertaining to agriculture was genuine and 


when his means justified the venture, he bought land 
and was Itnown to his associates by the title 
McGregor bestowed upon him, the Laird of Both- 

His visits did more than enhance his personal 
reputation, they aided to establish the Globe, which 
quickly attained a standing far ahead of its rivals. 
Apart from its being the organ of a virile politician, 
it got the lead by its inherent merits as a gatherer of 
news, which it supplied with a fulness and accuracy 
neither the Colonist nor Leader approached, so that 
thousands who cared not for its editorials were 
subscribers. Believing that whatever is worth doing 
is worth doing well, Brown organized a system of 
getting out a newspaper that was a novelty at that 
time. He exacted the best possible from his em- 
ployees. Each number had to be carefully compiled 
so as to omit nothing of importance, the proofs 
accurately read, the paper to be well-printed, and 
issued punctually. He was ahead of his times, and 
often of his finances, in buying the latest printing 
plant. In dealing with his hands he was just and 
considerate. When the union tried to dictate : ow 
he should conduct his business he broke with it. but 
paid higher wages and made daily duty lighter 
than any union office. He was exacting in the ob- 
servance of the day of rest, and the office was 
deserted from Saturday midnight to Monday morn- 
ing. The same conscientiousness he applied to 
advertising, no notices of horseraces, prizefights, or 
theatricals were accepted. At a time when its 
facilities were limited and expensive, he was daring 
in the use of the telegraph. After the first dozen 
years of the Globe's existence he did little editorial 
work, leaving it to his brother Gordon, the best 


newspaper man Canada has yet known. He in no 
way resembled George, being quiet and retiring, but 
he had an instinctive sense of what the public want 
in a daily paper and he saw that they got it. As a 
writer he was facile and correct, but not broad in 
his views, and apt to allow his personal likes and 
dislikes to give color to them. His animosity towards 
Goldwin Smith and Sir Charles Tupper are instances 
in point. Looking back on the period during which 
the Globe attained its standing I .vould say it was 
Gordon, the indefatigable worker, who did most. 
Whoever looks over old fyles of the Globe can 
pick out the articles George wrote by their big- 
letter headings and wealth of capitals and italics. 
The captiousness which led both brothers to criticise 
whatever the other party advanced, no matter what 
its merits, was unfortunate for their reputation for 
candor and fairness. For the first twenty years or 
more of its career the Globe yielded little after pay- 
ing expenses, and interest on capital. This was due 
to the steady drain on its income arising from sub- 
scribers who did not pay what they were owing. 
George s anxiety for circulation and the political in- 
fluence it meant, deterred him from adopting the 
cash system, with the result that he missed a large 
fortnne through dishonest subscribers. 

By the time the Globe had become a provincial 
institution, Toronto was an attractive little city of 
over thirty thousand inhabitants; large enough to 
have somewhat of city features yet not so large 
that the bulk of its residents were strangers to one 
another, or that their interests and tastes moved in 
widely separate grooves. The youth had one theatre 
and what the Nickersons were doing gave spice to 
their talk. The lyceum flourished, and in the wintei- 



noted Americam held forth in St. Lawrence haU 
and lectures by such local men aa Daniel Wilson, 
Beaven, McCaul, and Croft drew audiences. Visitt 
by Wilson and Kennedy delighted the Scotch, and 
Gough drew crowds to the Adelaide-st. Methodist 
church. A circus on the Esplanade, with a Shake- 
sperean clown, excited the whole city. A balloon 
ascension from the field adjoining the Queen's hotel 
was an interlude one summer day, and the sojourn 
of a grizzly bear was a winter feature. Those were 
the days when there was not a butcher-shop in the 
city and housewives made a morning visit to the St. 
Lawrence market; when the building pf a crystal 
palace was a boast next to the rising of the walls of 
the Rossin house, which was confidently asserted to 
equal New York's famous hostlery the St. Nicholas, 
when torchlight processions with spouting romnn 
candles was the favorite method of celebrat'ui a 
party victory j when those expecting letters from 
the east watched for the smoke of the Montreal 
steamer, while the Rochester steamer furnished 
communication vrith New York, and in winter when 
unable to reach the Queen's wharf landed passengers 
and freight on the ice ; when every house in the old 
Fort was tenanted and a guard was maintained at 
the Governor-general's gates; when distinguished 
visitors, ace .-ded a civic reception, were driven m 
open carriages up college avenue and back by 
Church-street or treated to a sail down the bay. It 
was the day of smjll things and there was a laud- 
able local pride in displaying the best they had; it 
was the day when fugitive slaves dropped in by the 
underground route and on the arms of those who 
sawed and split wood alongside the curb on King 
and Yonge streets were to be seen the marks brand- 


ed by their masters, sometimes, below their tattered 
shirts the scars of lashings ; when darkies, the only 
whitewashers, lived in communities by themselves, 
and from whence issued forth ice-cream carts in 
summer and in winter came men in white aprons 
with a tinkling bell, shouting Hot muffins! Recall- 
ing the rhyme the children of sixty-years ago repeat- 

We all know the muffin man, we all know him well; 

We all know the muffin mnn hv the ringing; of hU bell. 
It was the boast of the citizens that there was not 
a beggar, by habit and repute within the city bounds 
and that it had only one slum, Stanley-street, where 
goats and pigs shared the sidewalks and cowbells 
were heard night and evening. On the sunnyside of 
the streets, in front of stores, wooden awnings 
spanned the sidewalks, and on a rainy day you 
cpuld walk from Queen to King streets without a 
drop reaching you. The future metropolis was in 
the making and each sign of progress was exulted in, 
and nothing was too small to interest its residents. 
When a notorious quack carried the town by storm 
it was told all over it, how George Brown came 
down from his office to shake hands with Dr. Tum- 
blr' as he sat in his carriage, and when the master 
ot ferry to the island was bought over by a Con- 
set V live heeler, all laughed at the Globe changing 
from the respectful Captain Moody to the derisive 
appellation of Capting Moody. 

Partly because the residents had so little of real 
importance to distract their attention, they took 
politics more seriously than in these days of sup- 
ercilious cynicism. They knew by sight, if not per- 
sonally, all the leaders, knew their families and all 
about them, and this acquaintance, even though sec- 
ondhand, gave them a deeper interest in what these 



leaders said and did ; it was no academic interest but 
a live inten -•!, in every move of the political chess- 
board. The intense feeling aroused by the double- 
shuffle or the drafting of the Reform platform has 
had no counterpart since 1859, and it centered in 
George Brown. A^ter his first session in parliament 
he was recognized as the exponent of Ontario's 
rights, thousands, especially among the farmers, 
swearing by his views, ready to follow wherever he 
led. Analyzing how he came by this ascendency it 
will be found it was due to his being a man of one 
masterful conviction. He left Scotland while it was 
being convulsed by the agitation to vindicate reli- 
gious independence, and on coming to Canada he 
found the same issue under another form. He found 
a set of old families working hand-in-hand with 
Anglican clergymen to establish in Ontario condi- 
tions like those which existed in England at that 
period — a State church and a landholding aristo- 
cracy. To defeat them in their purpose Brown 
threw himself into the combat with all the energy 
of a resolute man who hated, from the bottom of his 
soul, any class who sought to rule their fellowbeings, 
either in the temporal or spiritual domain, by a pre- 
tended prescriptive right. That every soul born 
into the world is given the privilege of choosing 
between good and evil, and for how that privilege 
is used each soul is accountable to God alone, is a 
self-evident truth. The privilege of choice may be 
left unused or it may be perverted. A man may 
choose to transfer the allegiance due his Maker to 
his fellowman, who will dictate what he shall do. 
His choice is to be deplored but it onght to be 
respected, what rouses indignation is when the civil 
,magistrate steps in to help the ecclesiastic. That 



one-Beventh of the land in Ontario should be assign- 
ed for the support o{ a church and that its ministers 
should be declared by the courts to have the same 
rights and authority as is vested in every rector 
in England, was intolerable to men who resented the 
remotest semblance of union between Church and 
State, yet so determiued were those who favored 
these privileges, so resolutely did they resist, that 
Ontario was only saved from the incubus * a State 
church by an agitation that lasted nigh forty years. 
In the forefront of that agitation stood George 
Brown. He was assailed by those opposed to him 
with a bitterness that verged on indecency. Among 
his friends were those who wished he was less out- 
spoken, toj e was antagonizing individuals who 
otherwise ■ .r.lj help him and injuring his business 
career. The taunt was thrown at him, that it vas 
all very well for him to ride the Protestant horse in 
Ontario, where there were plenty to cheer him. it 
would be different when he went to Quebec, where 
not a man of any prominence would dare to openly 
bav.k him. He was elected to the legislature, which 
was then sitting in the city of Quebec where the very 
etmosphere is permeated by the spirit of the Papacy, 
where the Protestant minority crouched before the 
priests, fawned upon them, e(jntent to make any 
concession, submit to any indignity, if allowed to 
go on without interruption in their business of mak- 
ing money. He stood on the floor of the house, sur- 
rounded by French-speaking members who haioj 
him and by English-speaking Conservatives who, 
believing he was thereby digging his political grave, 
exulted over every word he uttered that gave Cath- 
olics offence. Change of surroundings did not,' how- 
ever, cause Brown to waver, and he continued to 



demsnd with unabated force of tpMch, that Ontario 
be given her constitutional right in the control of 
the taxes she paid by increasing the number of her 
representatives. He is a churl who would deny the 
admiration due this stalwart member, who, fac- 
ing a gallery packed with priests and their follow- 
ers, opposed bills to incorporate nuns and monks 
and grants of public money to support their institu- 
tions. The bitterest drop in his cup was, when 
smooth-tongued members of Ontario rose anu asked 
the house not to judge the people of the western 
province by the sentiments just expressed by the 
member for Kent, and evoked a cheer by airing 
their claim to a wide tolerance and their hatred of 
bigotry and narrowness. 

For the first time Brown encountered in debate 
him who was to be his life-long opponent. Sir John 
Macdonald. They differed so widely in mental atti- 
tude that antagonism was inevitable ; the pity was, 
that difference of opinion should have been colored 
by personal dislike. Brown's conduct in the investi- 
gation of a public institution was made the excuse 
of Macdonald 's preferring a charge against him of 
malice and deliberate perversion of testimony. For 
that assanlt on his honor Brown said he would not 
forgive Macdonald until he retracted and apologised, 
which he never did. In manner the contrast be- 
tween the two was palpable. Brown was downright 
in act and in speech almost blunt. Macdonald was 
a master of finesse and captivating in conversation. 
He improved the unpopularity of Brown among the 
French to attach them more firmly to himself. 
Watching him in the house it was impossible not to 
Bdmire the tact with which Macdonald evaded as- 
saults and conciliated opponents. He rarely replied 



tp ar^ments and when he did, never argued from 
flnt principlea. Hia reply to a charge waa uiuallyi 
"You're another," and aided by a preternatural 
memory he aeldom tailed to drag from the forgotten 
paat aome inconaistency in act or apeech, or raiae the 
laugh againat his critic by aome paltry atory, aome 
quilp or jeat. He waa emphatically a politician and 
in the art of getting over difficultiea and winning 
aupportera can never be surpaased. Hia adroitnesa, 
hia facility in simulating feelings he did not enter- 
tain, approached poaitive genius and enabled him to 
gain a great reputation and increase it to the end, 
without poaaesaing, what is regarded by many as 
essential, rhetorical ability. He was no apeaker in 
the popular sense of the term, his manner waa either 
n drawl or a succession of jerky sentences, but he 
waa never tedioua, and behind all he said could be 
discerned his native talent. His keen perception of 
men and events, his innate sense of what should be 
r'one. made him a leader in any public assembly. 
To this, he united a quick, almost nervous movement 
in coming to a decision, which was the base of his 
eminent administrative ability. The contrast be- 
tveen him and Brown recalled that between a poli- 
tician nf the court of Charles II., supple and care- 
less of what might happen, and a Puritan stem in 
clinginp: to first principles. 

Persistent agitation resulted in carrying the bill 
abolishing the rectories. Quickly following it, came 
the act which settled the clergy reserves. Several 
were prominent in securing those two measures, but 
Brown was foremost. There remained a third 
abuse to be grappled with and again he led. The 
claim of the priests for separate schools, provided 
for by rates levied by authority of parliament and 



reinforced by granta oat of the public cheat, waa a 
more glaring violation of equality in civil righta 
than either the rectories or the clergy reserves, and 
much more difficult to uproot. The Quebec mem- 
bers were indifferent to stripping Protestant clergy 
of land and income and allowed the Ontario major- 
ity to have their way, but taking a-ay privileges 
claimed by their priests was an entirely different 
story. It was by their votes separate schools had 
been forced on Ontario and they were dead set iu 
the rt'solution to continue them. The argument, 
that the measure affected Ontario alone and that ita 
members, therefore, should be left to deal with it, 
was scoffed at by the representatives who came 
from east of the Ottawa. They had the same legal 
power to vote on that as on any other motion, and 
they used their votes as directed by their priests. 
Repeated divisions convinced Brown that so long as 
the legislature was composed of an equal number of 
members from each province, nothing could be 
effected. This led him to advocate that the number 
of representatives be in proportion to population — 
Rep. by Pop. as it came to be termed, for short. 
Ontario had the larger population, and if given the 
additional members its numbers called for, separate 
schools would be voted down. The Catholic mem- 
bers saw this, and would have nothing to do with 
the new device. Aided by their Conservative allies, 
Brown's motion, in whatever shape it was submitted, 
even when a single adi'itional member was asked, 
was lost. He might with stronger reason, and pos- 
sibly with less opposition, have proposed that repre- 
sentation be based in proportion to the respective 
contributions to the revenue of the two provinces, 
tor; it was as notorious then as it is today, that the 



Enitliiih fipeaking p<^nple werp much th° larger con- 
tributom of taxes, /he axiom, that they who p ' 
miiat ■hould have the larger voice in apendinK, 
preued strongly, only to be laughed at by Car 
and his phalanr, who voted down every propositi 
They were resolved not to be outnumbered or *f' 
lax their control of the public purse. Brovu ' 
fertile in devices to embarrass the government. i» 
order to force it to grant a larger representation <» 
Ontario, and, time and again, was defeated on <l*v>- 
■ion. Thoufih beaten in the house, his cause vm 
growing stronger outside, and public opinion ripen- 
ing in hi>. favor. At last matters reached the [loint 
that the government could nr>t pass a single mea -ure. 
An appeal to the electors, i i by-elections sh, wed, 
"would not help them, while ;'.ll Opposition '-snkl.v 
admitted that, without the adoption of rr sente 
tion by population an appeal to the countn would 
not give them a working majority. There was not a 
f hadow of doubt as to the .:;au8e of the crisis — it was 
the Catholic members obeying the -"ommand of their 
priests to hold on to the grip they had, step by step, 
got on th '- government of Canada. The issue was, 
a compact body pf ecclesiastics insisting on retaining 
the power to control the destinies of the country in 
the way that suited their int.!re-:t-i. Which was i?o- 
ing to win — the priests or ihe peipleV 

Brown had cause to deplore he had nor, in this 
crisis, the support he ought to have had. The On- 
tario members were not united ; party allegiance wai 
stronger with many than the call of principle. The 
Orange order could have decided the issue by throw- 
ing their weight in the balance, but they were divid- 
ed. This can only be explained by so large a pro- 
portion of them being misled by names. In Ulster, 



where they htd come from, Whig*, Reformen, and 
Liberals were identifled with the lupporten of Paptl 
pltim*. while the name Conaervitive wu the stamp 
of all that wai itaunch for Proteatantiam. On com- 
ing to Canada they were alow to rc«ogniie that the 
names Reformer and Conservative had a different 
meaning. Honest fellows, who in their hearts were 
zealous for the principles of the Revolution of 1688, 
voted for Cartier and Macdonald because they called 
themselves Conservatives and opposed Brown for his 
exulting in the name Reformer. There were many 
exceptions. There were Orangemtn who perceived 
Brown wr . fighting for the cause they loved, but the 
rank-and-file followed the advice of leaden, like 
Gowan, who made the Order a Udder to oflee and 
emolument. During the agitatiun Brown received 
the only compliment paid him by Oranfcenien public- 
ly—to their dinner on the Twelfth hs was the invited 
ijneat of a prominent Toronto lodge. At the election 
in which Crawford defeated him, the Orangemen 
could have changed the day. An incident of it may 
be recalled. Crawford's success depended on hie 
getting the Catholic vote. The night before th? 
polls were to be opened, the city was covered with 
placards, which tendered the advice Vote for Brown, 
the P'otestant champion. The Catholics took the iu- 
junciiuu in the sense given at the Pickwick election. 
Don't put him under the pump, and voted dowu the 
Protestant champion. 

At the critical period, when whether Ontario 
was to be ruled by the priests or the people hung in 
the balance, Brown had a majority of the electors of 
Ontario behind him. But, by no means, a unanimous 
vote. Had they lined up to a man the constitution 
that came to be devised ?ould have been so framed 




that Quebec would not be the thorn it U tmUy in 
the lide of the Dominion, and there would be no need 
of another change in the conatitution. 

Taking part in the diacunion aa to who wai en- 
titled to the name the Father of Confederation, Oold- 
win Smith remarked it wa« Mr Deadlock. The gov- 
ernment wai at a standatill, neither aide of the houie 
able to reatart the machine. Hacdonald made aa 
overture to form a coalition government, Brown and 
two of hii followers to hold portfolios. His closest 
friends advised Brown to decline. They pointed out 
that it was through his leadership Cartier and Hae- 
donald had been brought to their knees to beg his 
help, and that it was for him to dictate what should 
be done. They implored him to take a definite stand 
by insisting on the Quebec party accepting represen- 
tation by population aa the condition upon which he 
would work with them. If they would not agree to 
that, then on Quebec would rest the accountability 
of what might r nsue. If Quebec would not relin- 
quish the straugle-hold she had obtained over On- 
tario, by her undue number of representatives in the 
legislature, then the question of who was to rule, 
the members who represented the priests or the 
members who stood for the people, might as well bo 
fought out then aa later. Brown hesitated. He re- 
I'usert to take office himself but was willing two of 
his folio- »rs should. This gave an opening for 
negotiati ns and Brown was speedily so entangled 
by Macdonald that he could not retreat, and, sorely 
sgainst his will, he had to became a member of the 
cabinet. As the French members would not agree 
to representation by population a compromise was 
proposed, that the existing legislative union be dis- 
solved and a federal union substituted. Intent on 



Ontario securing the power of governing herself, 
Brown saw how, under a federal union, that power 
could be obtained, he, however, did not foresee how, 
in the drafting of the conditions of a federal union, 
Quebec might obtain more privileges and greater 
power than she already possessed. Yet he had fair 
warning of what was in the minds of those he was 
dealing with, for they declared that, in whatever 
changes were made, ample assurance must be given 
that Quebec's peculiar interests be protected. With 
the prospect of Ontario getting her due, Brpwn's en- 
thusiasm led him to brush aside all suggestions of 
danger. He laughed at the fears of the doubters and 
told Alex. Mackenzie and Holton they might rest as- 
sured he would see to it, that sectional difficulties 
were ended for ever. He had an infatuated belief 
in the federal system as a remedy for all polit'o.l ills. 
Before he had sat many days at the conference, his 
self-confldenee was shaken when he saw how vigi- 
lant Tache and Cartier were that the interests of 
Quebec be preserved. Articles were adopted which 
he later admitted he had struggled against for dayii 
together, but let them pass rather than endanger the 
entire scheme of union. Among those articles was 
that on education. It was on the issue of separate 
schools the difficulty with Quebec had started; it 
was the seed of the struggle between the two parties 
that had resulted in the deadlock. How was it 
settled! By leaving it as it was. Brown frankly 
acknowledged it was a blot on the constitution, 
which he had striven to prevent. It was worse 
than a blot, it was the continuance of the virus that 
liad poisoned the system of government from the 
hour a legislature had been organized, and was 
■now carefully conserved in the new constitution to 



inflame passion and work its ultimate ruin. Had 
Brown stood out and stalled his assent tp the scheme 
of Confederation on the insertion in the constitution 
of a declaration that no contribution either in land 
or money be made for sectarian purposes, his name 
would have ranked with those heroes of the past 
who have secured the inestimable boon of religious 
liberty. He did not do that, he failed in the day of 
trial, and will be forever classed with men who knew 
the right and did not do it. The excuse he offered 
was, he got a promise the system of sectarian schools 
would not be further extended in Ontario. The 
new constitution started with the sectarian principle 
embalmed within it, ready for development as the 
pripsts required. Brown asserted that by its enact- 
ment all subjects of discord were swept away and 
ell sectional differences ended forever. He was a 
poor prophet. At the close of fifty years' experience 
of that constitution, Ontario faces a vast extension of 
separate schools, faces a demand for schools whose 
curriculum shall be dictated by the priests and not 
by the legislature, faces a demand that the French 
language be placed on an equality with English, 
faces an invasion of territory by columns of habi- 
tants organized and sent by the priests with the de- 
sign that they will dominate constituencies and ulti- 
mately obtain the balance of power in the Ontario 
legislature. As a cure for sectarian evils Confedera- 
tion has been a complete failure. 

Equality in rights is the foundation of citizen- 
ship ; where there is not equality no permanent peace 
exists. Where there is a favored class, enjoying 
privileges denied to their fellows, there is a sense of 
injustice which eventually ends in trouble. That 
community is alone secure where civil rights of each 


inhabitant are identical. The government which 
pingles out a class and gives them privileges which 
il refuses to all others is provoking unrest, possibly 
agitation that may end in revolt. The path of peace 
lies in each citizen being equal in the eye of the law. 
From the point of view of the careless winded, it 
may seem a trifling uatter that the demand of the 
priests for separate schools for their people should 
he granted, but it means that Catholics are placed on 
a different plcne from their fellow-citizens, and 
what is worse, means that the government takes 
upon itself the prerogative of judging between re- 
ligions. In considering whether the government is 
justified in so acting, there is no need of resorting to 
theology, for the question is not one of doctrine 
but of civil rights. Is the government justified in 
conferring on a section of the people privileges dif- 
ferent from those it denies to the other sections t 
If it is not justified, then separate school laws are 
wrong, because they are a violation of that equality 
of civil rights which is the basis of free govern- 
ment. A despotic government picks and chooses 
among the people it mlci, giving privileges to one 
whivh it denies to another, but a government such 
as ours which in theory is democratic, and supposed 
•to make no difference between man and man, cannot 
do so without danger to the peace. The existence of 
separate schools, maintained by rates which the 
government gives authority to collect, and by 
grants from the public treasury, is so gross a viola- 
tion of the compact on which Canada's government 
rests, that the injustice of them will rankle in the 
minds of the people at large until they are abolish- 
ed. In George Brown's day that could easily have 
been done. It is more difficult now because, like 



sU abuses, it has grown and one privilege has been 
made an excuse for claiming another. In his speech 
on Confederation he declared there were so few 
separate schools in Ontario, less than a hundred, that 
they could not be looked on as a practical injury. 
Fifty years has seen that hundred grown to 540, 
and in addition there is now claimed for them 
exclusive control by the priests and that their lan- 
guage, where desired, be French. 

No sooner had the conference decided on a 
federal union of Ontario and Quebec, than a larger 
proposal came, that it should include the maritime 
provinces and the Northwest. With his coUeaguea 
Brown visited the lower provinces, where they 
found much opposition, and afterwards went to 
England to arrange for the necessary legislation 
by the Imperial parliament. No sooner was the new 
constitution on the fair way to be enacted than he 
desired to retire from a position which was most 
uncongenial. He had stayed until the scheme of 
union was perfected and only the formalities for 
bringing it into force remained. On the evening of 
the 19th December, 1865, my brother, Thomas Sellar. 
who was then Montreal correspondent of the Globe, 
was astonished by George Brown entering his room, 
and more-astonished on his telling him he had left 
the government. The object of his visit was to get 
my brother copy the announcement he handed him 
and telegraph it to the Globe. Asked why he had 
taken so unexpected a step, his reply was he could 
not stand the conduct of certain of his colleagues. 
Cartier and Langevin in particular, any longer. 
Jobs and ofBces were given to favorites and the 
whole aim was to use patronage to keep in office 
and reward supporters. On Macdonald being ap- 



pealed to he would smile and let them go on. Brown 
was content the public should think he resigned 
because Gait, instead of himself, had been 
chosen to go to Washington for renewal of the 
reciprocity treaty. 

The inauguration of Confederation necessitated 
a general election. His late colleagues, who would 
take no denial from him in declining a seat in the 
cabin. L. now conspired to drive Brown from parlia- 
ment. Having no more use for him they wished 
him knifed. He stood for South Ontario, confident 
of election. He was defeated by 69 votes. It was 
well for himself that he was defeated. It had been 
one of his sanguine expectations that, when Confed- 
eration was enacted, the two parties would revert 
to their old positions, and that he would again be 
leader on the left side of the house. He did not 
make sufficient allowance for the influence of self- 
interest. Men whom he had fetched out of obscurity 
and got seats for them, preferred to remain on the 
side on which the sun of government favors shines. 
By being shut out of the parliament he had helped 
to create he was spared the sight of these ingrates. 
In time a change came, and the Liberals were again 
in office. Mackenzie pressed the appointment of a 
senatorship on Mr. Brown which he accepted and 
later offered to make him lieutenant-governor of 
Ontario, which he declined. Those who know Brown 
only from seeing him in the senate saw him in his 
decline: they did not see the tribune who had shk- 
en Ontario to its centre. In all his changes of eoi li- 
tion to one purpose of his earlier years he remained 
true. He never lost sight of the necessity of open- 
ing the vast country that lies west of Ontario. At « 
period when no interest was taken in the Northwest. 


88 early as 1850, the Globe persistently kept before 
its readers the advantages of colonizing it. By cor- 
respondence, maps and editorials the resources and 
advantages of the prairie country were dwelt upon, 
until men talked of the Saskatchewan and the 
Assiniboine, and public opinion was ripened for 
bursting the barrier with which the Hudson Bay 
company was keeping it as a preserve. When Con- 
federation came to be considered it was Brown who 
insisted on the insertion of a clause providing for 
the admission of the Northwest. No other agitation 
is comparable to that maintained by him for a score 
of years to rescue that territory from the grasp of a 
monopolist and supplanting the buffalo hunter by 
the fanner. He blazed the trail which his Buccesson 
in the good work widened into a highway. 

His visits to England had brought him in con- 
tact with its leading men who estimated his worth 
without the prejudice of party that caused so many 
< 'anadians to underrate his standing. He was twice 
tendered the honor of knighthood,, and twice declin- 
ed. Perhaps he had a foresight the poor speci- 
mens of humanity who, in the future, were to have 
titles bestowed upon them. 

There are two biographies of Brown, that by 
Mackenzie, the most poorly written and that by 
Lewis the best written Canada has among its mem- 
oirs. Neither biography places the emphasis call- 
ed for of the effect of a serious illness that befell him 
in 1861 . For several months he hovered on the verge 
of Death, and when he again appeared in his old 
haunts it was apparent a change had been wrought 
in mind as well as body. The masculine force, the 
imperative spirit, had been tamed. He was still 
<}eorge Brown but not the hearty buoyant Brown 



of old. A visit to Britain to restore his health con- 
tributed to give bis nature a new complexion. Mix- 
ing for several months in the exclusive society of 
Edinburgh, he caught its tone and, in a measure, ad- 
opted its manners, a change deepened later on by 
association with the leading politicians of London. 
He married while in Edinburgh and Toronto hailed 
liis return with his wife by a torchlight procession. 

It is pleasant to know that his latter years were 
happily spent, his family life was delightful, and 
lie indulged in his favorite recreation, that of a 
gentleman-farmer, to the full. A lifelong temper- 
ance man, an advocate of prohibition when the 
word excited derision, he fell a victim to the liquor- 
traffic. A discharged employee, on the verge of 
delirium tremens, shot him. He survived six 
weeks, dying on 9th May, 1880, in his 63rd year. 

From the foregoing narrative it will be seen that 
the birth of Confederation was due to Quebec's in- 
fisting on dictating to Ontario what legislation the 
parliament of that day should enact. Ontario de- 
vired to abolish separate schools, Quebec refused; 
Ontario bjected to grants of public money and 
charters being given to sectarian institutions, Quebec 
insisted upon them. The incompatibility of view 
regarding the management of the Canada of 1867 
could not be reconciled, and after a cat-and-dog life 
of 25 years, the only solution was for the two prov- 
inces to separate. The Imperial authorities did not 
desire the revival of Quebec as a unit, and a com- 
promise was found in dissolving the union of the 
two provinces made in 1841, and substituting for it 
» federal union. The source of the trouble was not 
racial but religious. The priests had certain privil- 
eges and immunities that were of great value tothem 



both materially and in giving them paramount in- 
fluence in the province of Quebec, and these beneflU 
and that influence they would not allow to become 
endangered. To that end they directed how the 
members of their creed shpuld act and vote. It was 
this priestly dictation that led to Ontario rising in 
indignant protest and demanding to be given more 
members so that she could protect herself. Quebec 
resisted, the deadlock ensued, and Confederation was 
adopted as a compromise. In 1867 the belief was 
general that the new constitution solved all the 
troubles that had been perplexing the country and 
that Canada had got at last a form of government 
that would be permanent. So it would, had those 
who framed Confederation not winked at Quebec's 
retaining an element antagpnistic to federal union. 
The principle of federal union is, that several com- 
munities join in forming a strong central govern- 
ment to regulate matters common to them all, and 
that each of the communities be left to attend to 
its local affairs. To the successful working of the 
system it is essential that no one of the communities 
thus brought into partnership cherishes an institu- 
tion antagonistic to the civil riifhts of the others 
associated with it. When the framers of the U.S. 
constitution based it on the federal system they 
were satisfied they had solved the difttculty of negro 
slavery ; the States in favor of slavery could have 
it, and those who disliked it were kept bythemselves. 
Experience proved that, however sound in theory, 
in practice federal union was impossible where part 
of the coun'ry possessed an institution not compat 
ible with equality of civil rights. The framers of 
Confederation had this object lesson before them 
yet they ignored it. They knew that in Quebec the 



•yatem of Church and State waa more highly devel- 
oped than in any other country in the world, that 
it was the aource of the difficulties which made a 
new constitution necessary, but, notwithstanding, 
they left that system untouched, thinking by isola- 
ting it in Quebec the other provinces would not be 
affected. It was the delusion that misled the men 
who framed the U.S. constitution — slavery is a 
domestic institution and by settling what Statea 
shall be left with it and what States shall be free 
from it, we can ensure the peace of the Bepublic for 
all time. Ths result of their compromise w^as the 
bloodiest civil war the world has known. The 
frame™ of the B.N. A. act were just as careful to 
leave the system of Church and State intact in Que- 
bec as the American framers were to preserve negro 
slavery to the Southern States. Widely apart as 
they are in their aspect, negro slavery and a State 
church have this in common, that they are antagon- 
istic to equal citizenship. For over eighty years 
congrisa had a large proportion of members who 
made the maintenance and spread of negro slavery 
thor first aim. During the past fifty years Quebec 
has sent to the parliameut of Canada member? 
whose prime purpose has been to defend the Papal 
system as developed in their province. Every pro- 
posal that comes before the Ottawa house they de 
fer judging whether it will oeneflt the Dominion 
as a whole until they look how it will affect the in- 
stitution peculiar to Quebec. The practical result is, 
there are sixty members who sit in a nominally 
British house of commons to defend in Quebec and 
to extend to the other provinces the rule of their 

To prove how the framers of the B.N.A. act 



wrought harm to the Dominion by leaving Quebec 
untouched one concrete instance is worth pages of 
general affirmation. Its priests have had education 
fntirely in their hands — from the children in the 
rural elementary school to the graduates of Laval. 
The books used, the systems of teaching, the quali- 
fications of the teachers, are under their sole control 
and direction, all the government does is to supply 
the money required. For over seventy years the 
priests have had the educating of their people, un- 
restricted, encouraged, and supported by the gov- 
«rnment. Has the result been for the beaeflt pf the 
Dominion f Have the youth of Quebec been taught 
to be loyal and obedient to the Empire! Has the 
result of their training in school and college been to 
teach them absolute obedience to the Sovereign 
Pontiff and to the clergymen who represent him or 
has it not t There is talk pf a divided allegiance — 
owning the sway of a spiritual sovereign and that of 
the temporal king — and that the two forms of fealty 
are compatible with loyalty to both. See how this 
pretended dual allegiance is working out. King 
George calls for soldiers to defend the realm and 
the Ottawa government takes the necessary steps 
to supply them. The representatives of the Pope 
cay: This is not Quebec's quarrel, stay at home 
and let the Protestants go. The assertion is made for 
Ontario consumption, that the priests of Quebec do 
not give such advice to their people, that that is the 
wild talk of extremists. We who live i. Quebec 
have had sad evidence in seeing the flower ^f our 
TInglish-speaking youth obeying the King's com- 
mand, and the young men ('ontr»,,led l>y the priests 
staying on their farms. Bourassa, Lavergnc, Marsil 
arc simply megaphones giving sound to tlie counsel 



whiipcred in ■ thoownd pmrithet. A (reat trial hai 
befallen the Empire, the burden of it in Canada haa 
fallen on the other provincei and Quebec haa been 
content they ahould bear it. The war has brought 
homo to every thoughtful man in the Dominion 
the fatal danger of a divided allegiance. Will we 
profit by it by taking action to remove the source 
of danger and prevent the like rfcnrringt How 
can that be done? The dangerous situation that at 
this moment confronts Canada is due to having left 
education in the hands of the priests. The remedy 
is to take the education pf the rising generation 
from the 'priesthood and, placing it under federal 
authority, make sure that all our people are trained 
to be loyal Canadians by obeying the State and not 
n church. Unity of action necessarily requires one 
head to a country, the very meaning of the word 
allegiance, signifies that. If the people of the sev- 
eral provinces do not agree to obey the executive 
and respond to his command, there can be no unity 
of purpose or action. No man can obey two masters 
and no country can enjoy the peace that is necessary 
to prosperity whose people are not of one mind as 
to where the sovereign power resides. 

In democratically organized countries the head 
is the State, which is a convenient term to signify 
the executive head of the people, nd the State that 
permits any particular set or section of its citizens 
tc usurp the powers that properly pertain to it, en- 
dangers that country's existence. Has it been prov 
ed by experience, that education cannot be entrusted 
to a class with safety to the body of the people 1 If 
so, is that alH What about marriage T Is it right 
that a compact body of ecclesiastics be allowed to 
xleflne what marriage is and to enforce on the Dom- 


inioD their conception of it by deoreei and penal- 
tieit !■ it not an injury to the people, that control 
of all thoae inititutioni which are neceuary and are 
for the people at large, inch a« Innatie asylums, ra- 
formatories and so on, should be given to one pecul- 
iar set of ecclesiastics t The fact is, we are trying in 
Canada to get along under two governments, the 
cne at Ottawa and the other a self-constituted autn- 
rrity which claims it has an inherent right to regul- 
ate it, whose headquarters is in Quebec. This can- 
not go on forever. Infringements on the jurisdic- 
tion of the State miut be put an end to and the right 
of the people to supreme and exclusive rule be vin- 

There are two sets of people among us, who 
oppose the action necessary to restore to the Ottawa 
government its powers. The first are those who 
allege that the differences which exist are due to 
misunderstandings. Let us get together, they say, 
and without prejudice strive to reach a settlement. 
With the aid of banquets, excursions, and mutual 
aelf-admiration assemblies they have tried to discov- 
er the happy medium which would reconcile oppos- 
ing elements, and so far have failed ridiculously. 
These bon entente people do not recognize that it is 
not antagonistic feelings but conflicting principles 
that divide Quebec from the rest of the other prov- 
inces. When the Jesuit estates bill was before the 
Dominion parliament Sir John Macdonald ridiculed 
the prayer of the petitioners by declaring they had 
no practical grievance, for the bill involved only giv- 
ing a morsel of land and a trifling sum of money — 
small affairs to a parliament that had voted tens of 
millions of acres and money to railways. To illus- 
li'ate this he Uilil the story of a Jew who gratified 



bit craving (or a pork chop. While enjoying the 
uvory bite tbere was a thunder-clap, when the Jew 
exclaimed bis aatonlshment that Ood ahould make 
auch a fuss over a bit o{ pork. The member* t>oaTed 
with laughter and obeyed the Old Chief by throwing 
out the bill, only 13 voting for it. The petitioner! 
against the Jesuit bill did not object to the amount 
of money or land but to the principle involved in the 
grant — that it was given by the Quebec legislature 
in obedience to an order of the Pope, as an act of 
restitution for what had been done by Britain at 
the conquest of Canada. Several of the instances 
the bon entente people single out as trivial may 
be so in money value, but are of vital importance 
from the principle underlying them, namely that ex- 
elusive privileges may be allowed by parliament on 
the score of creed. Their goody-goody talk is on a 
par with Sir John Macdonald's pork story. The 
aecond set of people who refuse to lend a hand in the 
reforms called for, misapprehend the motive of 
action. They are for toleration and are not bigots 
or Orangemen. They mistake the entire situation. 
The Quebec priests and their supporters set up pre- 
tensions to certain exclusive priviletres and favors, 
and for these they have no other title to offer than 
that of their creed. Are not those who demand 
special favors on the score of their creed, the people 
■who introduce religious discord into our political 
life and not those who decline to entertain such a 
pleaf What the reformers want, is to do away with 
all sectarian demands and favors, and confine the 
government to its purely secular functions. Arc the 
men who agitate for clearing our political atmos- 
phere of religious cries, to be stigmatized as bigots » 
All religious bodies are entitled to ho protected by 



the State in the exevciiie of their work, but with 
that protection the duty of the State endnj it goet 
beyond its jurisdietion when it faviim one denomina- 
tion above another. The tnte friends of peace, are 
those who desire that all religious bodies be placed 
on an equality. In trying to bring that about, what 
semblance is there to intolerance! 

The situation as regards creed is this, the 
priests of Quebec have obtained powers detrimental 
to the interests of the rest of the Dominion. To in- 
sure the peace of the commonwealth it is requisite 
those powers be taken away, and that they be plac- 
ed on the same footing as clergymen of other de- 
nominations. This is the end aimed at and to reach 
it these arc the main reforms to be sought — 

A uniform system of public schools for the 

Dominion ; 
One marriage law for the Dominion ; 
Withdrawal of grants of public money from 

sectarian institutions: 
To all religious denominations, limiting the 
extent of real estate they shall hold to 
actual needs; 
That there be no discrimination in levying taxes 

in favor of religious bodies ; 
The repeal of all luws giving authority to 
ecclesiastical corporations to levy and 
collect dues. 
Once it is decided by the electors of the Dom- 
inion that there shall be complete and final sever- 
ance between its government and all ecclesiastical 
organizations, what a relief there will be from strife 
and clerical importunities! Were the State to put 



its house so in order that neither prii -,^ nor minist* ■ 
could, by any possibility, obtain a iiin!,!e spccitl 
favor, would they have the motive 'i<'y have no' 
for interfering with the working of our govtiir-ineit 
and endeavoring to control itt They would cease 
to ask when they knew they could not get. In com- 
plete separation of our government from all sectar- 
ian connection, depends the future welfare of our 
country, and until that is effected it will not be free 
from distraction or cease to have one hand tied be- 
hind its back when desirous of doing its duty by the 
Empire of which it is a part. 

Is it not a degrading thought, that t' future 
of this great country should be menaced by a priest- 
hood ! Is there not patriotism enough among us to 
rise above all petty issues and devote our political 
efforts to bringing about complete separation of 
Church and State — that Canada shall be ruled by 
and in the interests of her people, and not by and 
for the advantage of any church f 

Huntingdon, June 15, 1917. 

The True Makers of Canada 

History as written has done far less than jus- 
titre to the pioneers of Canada. There is a tendency 
to ignore the services of the unknown men and wom- 
en whose faithful toil made national progress pos- 
sible. For this reason we welcome the appearance 
of this book. The narrative is a fascinating one — it 
has the sterling merit, the strong simplicity of the 
Pilgrim's Progress — Toronto Daily Star. 

In our galleries of fame we find slated the nam- 
es of politicians, railway builders and financial mag- 
nates, whose chief claim to proniinence lies in the 
money that they accumulate thru robbing the coun- 
try they pretended to develope, but it was the men 
who carved away ihe forest who were the founders 
of its prosperity. We would that every man in 
Canada would read these simple tales — Farm and 
Hairy, Peterboro, Ont. 

"We are too apt, among the comforts and plenty 
of the present, to forget the source from whence we 
i'jimc and the price that has been paid for the heri- 
tage which is onrs. This volume is the most touch- 
ing tribute to the work of the pioneers we have 
ever read. — Weekly Sun, Toronto. 

Nowadays it is the fashion to call a fpvered de- 
scription of emotions *'a human document." Surely 
this tale of the calm emo'ions of the true makers 
of Canada, their experiences, their aspirations, their 
unquenchable courage is every whit just as much a 
human document. — Montreal Herald. 

Mr. Sellar has issued several books all of which 
contained that which set men thinking. This one 
is worthy to rank with them. It takes the reader 
down to the foundation of things in the making of 
Canada. — Montreal Gazette. 

For Sale by Albert BritneU 
263-5 Yonge-St., Toronto.